Next Stop: Thailand!
By: Eva Pacheco, Ace Hotel and Swim Club. Work and Travel Employer
Eva Pacheco is an employer from a seasonal community with CCI Greenheart’s Work and Travel program. Having cooperated with CCI Greenheart for several years on her international hiring, Eva was able to travel to Thailand to hire her Spring 2014 participants. Follow Eva on her Employer Journey as she arrives in Thailand. You can read her previous blog post here.
It was a long, long flight from Los Angeles to Bangkok, but soooo worth it! I met so many lovely people along the way, who were more than kind in helping me navigate my way through a layover in China. Traveling light made getting through security checkpoints a breeze. Before I left the airport, I decided to exchange a small amount of U.S. Dollars for the Thai Baht. Several people told me during my trip that the exchange rates are a little higher in town, so wanted to be prepared.
I arrived at the hotel at and got settled into my room pretty quickly. It was a lovely hotel with a comfortable room, and after a quick shower it was time to get some rest before the excursion day the next day!
Good morning Bangkok!
I had difficulty sleeping, but I’m not sure if it was the time difference or the fact that I was so excited about what today had in store for me! The itinerary for the day included a visit to the Grand Palace, lunch on the river at a tasty restaurant, and a boat ride to a spa to get a 2 hour Thai massage. I was READY!
Representatives from the sending agency in Thailand were our tour guides for the day. First stop was a taxi to the Grand Palace. I felt prepared for the Grand Palace; because I made sure that I did not wear flip flops, sleeveless shirts or shorts (as it was stated in the handbook). However, upon walking into the palace grounds, I was stopped by a guard who told me that leggings were not appropriate attire for visiting the palace. But lucky me – I could borrow the appropriate clothes at the kiosk by the museum! At first I felt like I was making quite the fashion statement, but once I looked around, I realized that I was not the only one who had to borrow attire. Thailand has a great way of never making an outsider feel out of place.
The palace grounds were magnificently ornate. Words cannot describe, nor can pictures capture the beauty of the architecture and embellishments of the buildings and figures. You’ll have to experience it yourself to understand how touched I was by the beauty of this culture.
After the tour and a lovely lunch, it was time to take our boat ride to the spa for our Thai massage. Just as we left the restaurant, it began to rain. Hard. The guides suggested that we take a taxi to the spa instead of the boat, but I was feeling adventurous and decided to give the boat a try. Why not? I was already wet and couldn’t get much wetter! I am so glad we did! The scenery along the river was beautiful; an interesting mix of Thai and Chinese architecture with modern skyscrapers in the backdrop.
The Job Fair
You might be tempted to stay out late and experience the nightlife in Bangkok, but I would recommend getting lots of rest the night before the Job Fair. The students were somewhat nervous and excited at the same time and the entire day was very high energy.
Everyone had a pre-Job Fair meeting to ensure we all agreed on the run-of-show and that the presentations were all set. I had some concerns about the selection process, but the sending agency and their staff made this process very easy: I would interview all the students interested in my opportunities and after all were interviewed, I would communicate to the agency and CCI Greenheart which students were selected and which were not. Then they would communicate the results to the students. Piece of cake!
I was able to interview groups of two students at a time. This worked out well as most students wanted to travel in groups of two and it was a great opportunity to speak to them together and observe how they interacted with one another. I also kept the following in mind:
- How well did they communicate on their own? Did they need someone to translate for them?
- Why did they want to be part of the SWT Program? What was their motivation?
- What were their program dates? Did they understand that they were expected to work until their end date?
- Can they describe the position? Why were they interested in working with my company? I
The interview process gave me the opportunity to correct any misconceptions about the job that they had, and I was able to describe to the students a real sense of what they would be doing.
After all of the program and job related questions were covered, I asked students what they were passionate about, what were their hobbies and special interests. I was amazed at how many of them did research about our company and how our culture was a good fit with their personalities. I ended up taking more students than I had originally planned. They were all so wonderful!
What a great trip! See how I reflect on my experiences next!